[AZ-Observing] Planetarium software features

  • From: Michael Collins <cal_donley@xxxxxxx>
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2013 21:21:08 -0700

Hi all,
  I'm looking for information regarding the charting capabilities of
planetarium packages for Windows and Mac. For my purposes, there are
several features which are essential. The one Windows package I've used,
which seems to meet all of the requirements, is Cartes du Ciel. If you
use a different program and can let me know whether it can do all of the
things listed below, or which ones it can't, I'd be very grateful.

1. Selectively enable/disable display of object types such as stars,
galaxies, nebulae, clusters, etc.

2. Set chart width to user-specified value

3. Mirror charts about the horizontal or vertical axis

4. Select chart depth (i.e. limiting magnitude)

5. Download current minor planet elements from Lowell Observatory and/or
the Minor Planet Center

6. Use UCAC4 catalog for field star data

7. Allow specification of time, date and geographic coordinates

8. Enable/disable display of constellation boundaries, "stick-figures"
and coordinate grids

9. Generate charts using either horizontal or equatorial coordinates

10. Generate high-quality printouts for use at a telescope

  I suspect most programs can do all of the things listed, except
perhaps number 6. It would be good to know if that expectation is
misplaced, however.
                                -- Mike --
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